Lauren and Hugh Do Homeownership

In August we met with a realtor. She convinced us that we weren’t crazy for thinking we could buy a house. So in September, after seeing a bunch of less-than-awesome houses and losing bidding wars on two, we found one that — more than any other house we looked at — really seemed like a house we could handle. Three weeks later we closed on it, I spent the next week packing our apartment alone, and Hugh returned from work in Pennsylvania just in time for moving day.


With the help of some incredible friends, we moved all our crap cherished belongings that were somehow stowed away within 800 square feet in Rosslyn into our new place in Falls Church.

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And two weeks later, our house is completely settled — everything’s set up, the walls are all painted perfect colors and the place is looking ah-mazing.

Just kidding.

The last two weekends have been nothing but an endless cycle of errands, chores, and home improvements. And yes, Bed Bath & Beyond when there’s time.

Here’s what our mansion was looking like this morning as we embarked on a day of installing storm windows and blinds and a surprise toilet project with my parents.



We have a huge, awesome yard that is currently filled with huge awesome piles of leaves.


Inside, there is stuff everywhere. Some of it is pretty and organized. The built-ins next to the fireplace by themselves are pretty. Currently, they are neither pretty nor organized.

Just keeping it real.


Our dining room is full of sun all day. It is also full of things that haven’t found permanent homes yet.IMG_3398

The kitchen is also full of sun. At the time I was wandering around taking these pictures — the first time I’ve picked up my camera in over a month, for shame — I was also prepping some sauce for a veggie lasagna.




And in the interest of keeping it real, here’s our spice rack:


Just kidding. We don’t have a good place for spices yet so they just hang out behind the kitchen sink.

My parents’ many years of homeowner wisdom and extra sets of hands were invaluable in the storm window and blinds installation process.






Now we’re insulated for this week’s intro to wintry weather. Unfortunately the blinds project wasn’t quite as successful and got tabled to next weekend’s to-do list.

And so continues the never-ending glamour and excitement of home ownership.

I love this little house, and even though we’re never short of tasks to do, all of which seem to be the most important, we’re having a pretty great time learning how to be homeowners. It is by far our biggest adventure yet.

National Grilled Cheese Day and Two Anniversaries

I never need an excuse to make one of my favorite foods, but I decided to honor National Grilled Cheese Day Friday night with some turkey+pepper jack+honey mustard grilled cheeses. Because we’re classy and we were kicking off our lavish anniversary weekend, we also had champagne (a wedding gift) in our toasting flutes with dinner while we caught up on Mad Men.



Saturday night we had a celebratory dinner at 1789, which is in an old federal house in Georgetown. Dinner was delicious, our server was super sweet, and the weather was so nice that we walked the mile+ home afterward.

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For our actual anniversary, we got up late, made a big Sunday breakfast, did some chores, packed a picnic, went to the batting cages and closed out the evening at Hugh’s baseball game.


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And I gifted us two Rick Steves books — Germany and Italy — and now I’m in full-blown trip-planning mode.


On a more serious note
We knew when we picked our wedding date that it would forever be followed two days later by an anniversary which, in six years, hasn’t gotten any easier. I wrote about April 16th here, two years ago.

Last year our wedding (and this year our anniversary) brought some light to a week — and a day — that has normally been pretty rough. Both anniversaries in such close proximity serve, and will always serve, as a reminder to acknowledge and be grateful for who and what we have in life.

We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly
We are brave enough to bend to cry
and we are sad enough to know that we must laugh again.

   -Nikki Giovanni – April 17, 2007

It Has Been the Best Year

It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since we got hitched, watched Grandpa do the Gator, swayed to Family Tradition with my family, danced to Rock Lobster with Hugh’s, Hokie Pokied with our VT brethren and Dougied with … everyone.






It has really been the best year. And if the looming cicada plague is a sign of the end times, well, I’m glad we’re in it together.




Wedding photos by the wonderful, talented Kristen Gardner

We’re Hurtling into Spring

I have no idea where the time is going, but it’s going fast. Turns out it’s officially April now which I almost said is “our busy month,” but they’re pretty much all busy these days — packed with travels, parties, weddings, anniversaries, baseball games and the like. And even though I wore snow boots to work just last week, it finally feels like springtime decided to make its fashionably late entrance to the party and there’s no turning back now.

Things are in bloom.

My allergies won’t quit.

We’ve felt 50- and 60-degree weather.

Hugh finished our taxes this weekend [we high-fived for filing jointly].

The sun is finally showing up on occasion.

There are tourists ev-er-y-where.

Oh and baseball season has officially started, which means Hugh did two fantasy drafts this weekend, has been itching to go to the cages, and already has a game of his own coming up.

Easter with my family was a good kick-off to the season. Mom colored Easter eggs, which my dad and brother quickly turned into egg salad.


We ate a huge, delicious meal featuring a pecan-and-praline-glazed Smithfield ham, but all I captured was this delicious chocolate cupcake with chocolate ganache that I had for dessert.


And I got a new koozie in my Easter basket, just in time for baseball season.

IMG_0369This month I will host a bridal shower and run a 10-mile race, Hugh will work and play baseball, we’ll celebrate our first wedding anniversary, Hugh’s sister will visit for a few days, and we’ll head up to Pennsylvania to see our best buds get married.

Hold on to your pants, kids. Looks like April’s fixin’ to be a bit of a whirlwind.